Rhythm games and I usually get along. Dance Dance Revolution, Guitar Hero/Rock Band, you name it, I can usually handle it.

BIT.TRIP CORE, however, is a different story.

It starts out simple enough: you have four directions — up, down, left, and right — using the Wiimote control pad on its side. A dot appears and floats towards one of the directions, and when you press it, a line appears, breaks the dot, and you get a point. Simple, right?

Then the techno beats get faster, so you have to push the directions faster. OK, still good…

Then the screen takes acid, crazy colors begin flying everywhere, and dots start to float in weird directions before going to their position.

Bit.Trip Core

Oh no…

To say that there’s too much going on in this game is an understatement. It gets to the point where I’m just pressing directions wildly in the hope that I continue my combo. Unfortunately, as you do better, the screen gets wilder and wilder. This obviously makes sense, as the better you do, the harder the game gets. The problem lies in the transition from easy to impossible; there’s no middle ground. There’s no period where you say to yourself, “Okay, this is where I always get hung up, this is what I need to work on.” Instead, the game flies from too easy to “shoot me now” much too quickly.

To its credit, the game does give the rhythmically-inclined folks the ability to recover, as the game’s “danger” phase looks and sounds like Pong: black and white lines and dots and just a slight pulse. There isn’t nearly as much going on during this phase, allowing the player to get back in the groove without distraction. Unfortunately, by the time it kicks in, the player is so frazzled from the digital psychedelic trip that he or she ends up missing the easy dots, getting the Game Over screen, and having to start again.

Despite these seemingly unforgivable issues, the game is damn addicting. It’s one of those games where the Game Over screen is more of a catalyst to play again than the actual gameplay, as if the player is saying “Game Over, eh? I’ll show you!” *START* I found myself increasingly frustrated with losing, only to press start again. The challenge certainly helps the replay value, but the frustration could lead to a broken Wiimote/TV/face, so play wisely.

BIT.TRIP CORE is addicting, but eventually everyone who plays it will find themselves more frustrated and confused than anything else. If you like rhythm games and want a challenge, then by all means try it. If you’re more the casual rhythm guy or gal, stick with the plastic instruments.


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Author: Jason Fanelli View all posts by
Jason lives and breathes gaming. Legend tells that he taught himself to read using Wheel of Fortune Family Edition on the NES. He's been covering this industry for three years, all with the Node, and you can see his ugly mug once a week on Hot Off The Grill.

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